We put the crazy in Christmas! Can we outdo the Griswolds on our Christmas Vacation?

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by Cherry Limeade, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. DisneyCP08

    DisneyCP08 All our dreams can come true, if we have the coura

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    Hey, just stopping by from my pr report:santa: I think it so cool that we will be there at the same time in all the madness. I love your idea of making books with photo albums. We also decided on not using the dining plan so everything for us is oop:scared1: too.Restaurant Marrakesh would be pretty neat for the package, can't wait to here what you think about. For our package DB and I chose Biergarten, and it is our main present for my family. :santa:
     
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  3. Cherry Limeade

    Cherry Limeade Earning My Ears

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    Biergarten was my back-up choice! I'll look forward to hearing what you think of it!
     
  4. Cherry Limeade

    Cherry Limeade Earning My Ears

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    :welcome:

    Funny you should ask... that's my next update!
     
  5. Daddy_of_Princesses

    Daddy_of_Princesses The downside of being better than everyone else is

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    Looking forward to the next update to find out where you will be.
     
  6. Cherry Limeade

    Cherry Limeade Earning My Ears

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    My Secret Shame?

    Okay, so when I was originally planning this trip I spent HOURS (I know you all identify) poring over the different resorts and requirements and buses and monorails and, and, and.

    Being a family of 5 presents special challenges in where you can stay, and while I don't really remember where I was thinking we would stay, I didn't get to pore over the wealth of information for very long.

    One night last winter we were sitting down to dinner and I brought up the subject of housing in Disney and I launched into a very detailed report of what I was thinking, costs, benefits, and just as I was getting to the point where I was going to start talking reservations Party Boy breaks in.

    "Do we have to stay in a Disney hotel?"

    "Well, no, but there's all these bene.."

    "Good. I have a friend with a vacation house 10 minutes from the parks and he said we could use that."

    "But have you looked at the cost? I mean..."

    "Free."

    "Oh."

    Don't get me wrong. It's a great deal! And I know this friend. They do everything first class! So, I'm not worried about the accomodations or anything like that. It's just that I had spent all. that. time. And I had it all built up in my head - charging things to the room key (one bill, yay!), having purchases delivered to the room (yay! no toting bulky souvenirs!), Magical Express for the luggage (no dealing with heavy suitcases and 3 excited kids yay!), and well... you all know all of the benefits.

    When it comes right down to it, you just can't beat free.

    Anyway, with that decided I was left to work out logistics. I was really glad by this point that we had stayed off-site in January for the whirl-wind trip. :rolleyes:

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    Travel back with me to the last week of January 2010.

    We are staying at the Marriott World Center, which is 10-15 minutes from the parks. I had prepped everyone about the need to get up early and make rope drop, etc. Our first park would be Magic Kingdom.

    We went to bed that night (after dining at Planet Hollywood in DTD) and I had high hopes or seeing the RD show.

    Next morning the alarm goes off and everyone leaps out of bed. The kids and I were ready in record time. Party Boy is moving really slow. And then he sits down to check his email. I am watching the clock and practically dancing around the room trying to get the man moving. I mean, we have a 5-mile walk just to get to the parking garage! :scared1:

    Finally we get going. I was already not holding out hope of a rope drop arrival, but figured we would be there just after, which was okay.

    Until Party Boy pulls into DTD to get cash out. :scared1:

    Seriously?

    I was really irritated at this point. He could tell, too, but he couldn't understand the urgency. :confused:

    We finally arrived at the parking lot, parked, and took the tram to the TTC. Yeah, as his punishment he had to deal with the stroller. :laughing:

    We got to the TTC and bought tickets and then headed to the monorail. We got in line for the express monorail and stood there waiting. And stood there. And stood there. And stood there.

    Eventually the CMs doing crowd control made us move to the platform for the resort monorail. All the time I am fuming. :mad:

    We get on the resort monorail and ride all the way around the resort properties to finally arrive at the MK exit. And let me tell you the resort people were non to happy to discover a full monorail at each stop.

    We finally made it into MK 45 minutes after RD. :sad2:

    Happily it was a very light day and we got to do everything we wanted.

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    At the end of the day Party Boy apologized. :flower3: He hadn't realized how involved it was just to get to the actual park, so he had thought I had been overzealous at insisting that we leave so early.

    Better to have that happen on an extremely light day at the end of January than during the hyper rush season of Christmas, no?

    So, off-site it is and we'll be leaving extra early every day for the parks with the full understanding that this is not Six Flags! :lmao: I'll still miss the perks of on-site and I will stay on-site someday, just not this trip. :thumbsup2
     
  7. Daddy_of_Princesses

    Daddy_of_Princesses The downside of being better than everyone else is

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    Bummer you aren't staying onsite, but :woohoo: woohoo for getting someplace for free. Well, actually $10 a day since you now have to pay for parking.
     
  8. Cherry Limeade

    Cherry Limeade Earning My Ears

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    Yeah. And I have to make my own towel animals. :rotfl:
     
  9. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    subbing!
     
  10. Cherry Limeade

    Cherry Limeade Earning My Ears

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    So, it's 30 minutes until Labor Day officially begins in my time zone and I am listening to DISRadio and grinning like a fool because I can hear music from EPCOT come straight out of my computer speakers. I even emailed my Mother about this because she is a Disney Nerd like me. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree and all that.

    I'm updating because I made autograph books this weekend. Praise to the awesome team of DISigners over on the Creative DISigns board and their generosity without which none of this would have been possible.

    The pics are boring. They're not of me actually making the books. They're not of my kids holding the books. They're pictures of a book on the floor. I am truly sorry for my lack of imagination pre-photo shoot. My bad.

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    {What's up with the awkward copyright Cherry? Well, I'll tell you. I blog too and I had some pictures copied from my blog and used on another blog, claimed as their pictures. Of my kids. So now, any picture that goes on my blog wears a copyright. You know, because I can.}

    Alright so the books are hardly works of art. I printed DoNatalies cards onto 4x6 index cards. I hole punched the cards and put them on binder rings. It's because I scrapbook. I want to disassemble one of these bad boys when we get home and scan them for the scrapbook pages. I scrapbook digitally. Here's a page (relevant even!)

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    And I made three of these little books. I still have one to go, but the color cartridge in the printer is getting dangerously low and you know how they are. It won't print if it runs out of cyan even if I only want to print with black ink. Can't risk it. So, I'll buy another cartridge or four (after I sign the papers to get the second motgage - dang, that ink is pricey) and finish printing autograph cards. And pressed penny labels. And little treat stuff. The list goes on.

    And if you are wondering why I need 4 books when I very obviously only have 3 children, well, the fourth one is for.... (if you guessed me you're wrong) my Mom! I'll have access to three when I get home, but poor Mom wouldn't have any autographs of her own. And now she will. She's very excited to meet the characters.

    And apprently I have reached that point in trip planning when everything can be related back to Disney. We were talking about the sky-high price of gold which of course started me on the Fantasyland addition. Someone mentioned a television show and I started in on how we were going to get to see the Main Street Electrical Parade. People's eyes glaze over before I can even start talking now. And my poor Party Boy has started to fake illness to escape hearing all of my Disney minutia and trivia. It's all very sad.

    At least I have the DIS. Next up - the great T-Shirt debate.
     
  11. Cherry Limeade

    Cherry Limeade Earning My Ears

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    More from the Epic Adventures of Captain Chaos -

    I gave him a bath last night, cause you gotta get all cleaned up for church son!

    I left him in the bathroom wrapped in a towel while I went to track down a night-time diaper.

    I cam back and it looked like it had snowed in my bathroom. All you Moms out there know what is coming.

    He found the baby powder. He was only trying to help. I think. He looked like a little snowman. He was covered from head to toe in powder. So, I threw him into the shower and rinsed him off and then spent some quality time waiting fo the pwder to settle and then cleaned that up as well.

    He doesn't really make messes so much as messes find him! :laughing: And for the record the pediatrician wasn't concerned. You know when this happened a year ago and all. He doesn't have a history of respitory issues, so I just followed the same instructions from before. Monitor and call if he starts exhibiting any respitory symptoms.

    Yeah, my pediatrician loves me. I think he has a secret file of the bizarre calls he's gotten from me. :rolleyes:
     
  12. disneydreamer1970

    disneydreamer1970 Loves planning surprise Disney trips!

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    I'm in! Your PTR looks great! Oh and my little guy had a baby power incident a few months ago...only he sprinkled it all over his bedroom. :scared1: I don't think any of it made it on himself. That stuff is hard to get off of windows, walls and doors. ;)

    I am looking forward to reading more!

    Trish
     
  13. Tinkermom76

    Tinkermom76 Gawrsh

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    Great job getting somewhere to stay free!!!!

    I love your autograph books, I'm not creative so I just buy them at the park but Donatalie has great stuff!!
     
  14. DisneyCP08

    DisneyCP08 All our dreams can come true, if we have the coura

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    all though the one-site perks are great, finding a place to stay for free during Christmas is a great deal:thumbsup2. I love the autograph books:)
     
  15. Cherry Limeade

    Cherry Limeade Earning My Ears

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    The Great T-Shirt Debate

    What to do, what to do.

    Back in February, when I was suffering from a lack of sunshine and deep-seated hatred of cold weather, the thought of making 7 custom t-shirts for each day of the trip made perfect sense. I mean, really, it's 49 shirts. How bad could it be?

    :lmao:

    As the trip has drawn nearer I (obviously) started questioning my decision. Just the expense alone made me do a double take, add to that the one-time-wear of so many iron-ons and the cost of ink and the time involved? :scared1:

    So, I waffled. I thought about it. I wondered if the entire trip would hinge on the matching shirts. Could we possibly be happy in Disney World wearing non-matching shirts? ;)

    Then I started thinking about the weather. I know December weather in Florida is up in the air, much like here at home. We may be wearing shorts and t-shirts, or we may be bundled up and braving freezing temperatures. There's just no way to know! And how disappointed would I be if all of my hard work was covered in layers in an attempt to stay warm? :headache:

    So, I think I will hit up the Disney Outlet store and buy each person a couple of shirts. They won't match, but they'll be Disney and can be worn in the park. And if they get covered with a jacket, so be it.

    One less thing to worry about.

    So, what have I done this morning?

    I made pressed penny money tubes:

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    And I made custom crayon boxes for the kids:

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    These will go in their travel day gift box. Since we leave so super early on Christmas morning that's what Santa will be bringing. It will also have a coloring book, small toys, snacks, and any other little special things that Santa can find. They get to open that Christmas morning and pack it in their airplane carry-ons.

    My mom and dad will be getting a Disney Survival Kit for Christmas. Each will have chap-stick, hand sanitizer, travel size OTC meds, blister band-aids, and other stuff that might come in handy. Mom is also getting the Hidden Mickey handbook, cause I think she'll enjoy that.

    I have to go research more Christmas gifts and get started on that shopping. I want to be done before Thanksgiving so I can spend December doing the final prep on Disney without distraction!

    Up next - The great flight frustration.
     
  16. Cherry Limeade

    Cherry Limeade Earning My Ears

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    :welcome:

    Yeah - the powder was a huge mess and I still see some of it in cracks and corners. :headache:

    Thanks! When I started making these I wasn't sure about the timeline and I didn't want to use valuable park time tracking down albums. This seemed easier.

    Thanks on both counts. I couldn't believe our unbelievable luck! :yay:
     
  17. DisneyCP08

    DisneyCP08 All our dreams can come true, if we have the coura

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    49 shirts is def. alot. I am making a couple sweatshirts and t-shirts. I am hoping I don't wait until the last minute. We are trying to not go too crazy with the gifts, so I already started shopping on our trip in May. Love the crayon boxes.:thumbsup2
     
  18. TyRy

    TyRy <font color=blue>Part of the problem is I wear my

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    I'm trying to figure out t-shirts right now as well...and with time running out, it may be a Disney Store trip.

    Congrats on the free place to stay. I know you wanted to stay onsite, but you can't beat the price of that. I'm sure it'll be great.
     
  19. Cherry Limeade

    Cherry Limeade Earning My Ears

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    Alright folks. Today is a super exciting day! It is oficially 100 days til Disney. Which is exciting caus etomorrow we're in the DOUBLE DIGITS!!!

    And even better? The kids got a letter from Mickey Mouse!

    Dear MOTS, Hollywood, & Captain Chaos,

    Donald Duck just left my office after telling me that you guys are coming to my house in just 100 days!

    I can hardly believe that you will be here so soon! Donald, Daisy, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and I are so excited to get to see you again and hope that you are super excited to come stay at my house for a whole entire week at Christmas time!

    Speaking of Christmas, I called my good friend Santa and let him know that you are going to come to my house for Christmas and he agreed to make sure that all of your gifts get delivered here so you can open them when you get here.

    You better start counting down the days! Christmas will be here before we know it. I will be sure to send you more mail between now and when you get here. I can hardly wait!

    Love,
    Mickey Mouse


    Good thing he told them to count down the days cause we'll be making our countdown calendar tomorrow! :thumbsup2

    Anyway, after tha letter came I got all kinds of questions about how Mickey knew we were coming and how many letters must he mail out, etc. It was so fun to see them all excited about the Mickey mail...

     
  20. Cherry Limeade

    Cherry Limeade Earning My Ears

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    So, we are 10 weeks out!

    75 days!

    :banana:

    I am busy gathering little Halloween things for a "package" from the Haunted Mansion on Halloween.

    Other than that I haven't done much. I did manage to get the rental car (minivan) reserved. I will be ordering tickets sometime soon, probably November.

    I still need to do the Epcot Passports. Need to get on that one!

    I will be honest that I am a little nervous about being there Christmas week, but am hopeful that going in with a plan we will get to do what we want.
     
  21. mom0299

    mom0299 DIS Veteran

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    Don't get yourself worked up about the crowds. I think you are going to be fine. Yes, there will be a lot of people there, but you have a plan and most of those people don't. Just be sure to get the parks for rope drop and hit your "must-dos" first. Relax and enjoy your trip. Don't get stressed out. As much as my kids LOVE WDW they still love to go to the pool while we're there. Take your cues from the kids and don't stress. You'll have a great time!
     

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